Residential quarter as an innovative source of renewable energy

Helen is planning a diverse residential block in Kalasatama in Helsinki with on objective of taking housing quality and energy efficiency to a whole new level of standards.

Asuntosäätiö, Fira Oy, the VVO Group and Helen Ltd have joined forces in the planning of a diverse residential block in Kalasatama in Helsinki with an objective of taking housing quality and energy efficiency to a whole new level of standards. In the so-called SunZEB plus energy model, the excess heating load of the sun on the buildings, which has been problematic in the current construction methods, is turned into an opportunity where buildings are used as a source of renewable energy.  The construction of the first houses will start in 2018.

In the new concept, large window surfaces bring the light and heat of the sun indoors in an optimal way in the summer and winter. In the summer, the energy of the sun and other waste energies are recovered and the excess heat is utilised with the district cooling system in Helsinki’s district heating network. In the winter season, the rays of the sun coming at a low angle heat the rooms and bring plenty of natural light into the homes also in the greyest days of the year. The solution provides an opportunity for a high comfort of living in all seasons.

The block to be part of the city-level energy solution

– Housing plays a key role in climate change mitigation. We must rapidly move from building-specific energy-saving solutions to regional, resource-wise and increasingly energy-efficient concepts. Therefore, we find that the implementation of this pilot project in the block concept is an extremely important step forward, says Development Manager Jouni Kivirinne of Helen Ltd.

In Helen’s SunZEB model, the energy flow in the consumption and production of energy is examined at a broader level than in an individual building. Regionally, the use of primary energy and the CO2 emissions will be considerably lower than in solutions where the thermal and cooling energy is produced and consumed individually at each location. That way, the use of local renewable energy will increase and the emissions will decrease.

The housing block structure in Sompasaari in the district of Kalasatama is a perfect choice for SunZEB construction. Technically, the application of the model will not automatically require a regional overall solution, but it can also be implemented one site and building at a time.

The contractors Asuntosäätiö, Fira Ltd and the VVO Group will each build their own properties in the same block.

Comfort of living with solar architecture

In the design of dwellings, the SunZEB model enables the use of large window surfaces without compromising on a pleasant indoor environment. The new way of utilising solar architecture in the block will make the most of the fantastic sea and park views. Residents will be able to enjoy the light and the views to the full.

Published: 28.02.2017 14:30

Seija Uusitalo
Team manager, communications
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